An introduction to the biology of mammals, including humans, showing the relationship between structure and function of tissues and organs and outlining the physiological processes involved in adapting to their environment.
The principles of control systems involving nerves and hormones are examined. Control at the cellular, tissue, organ system and whole-body levels is explained with reference to the basis of cell excitability, basic functions of the nervous system, muscle contraction, actions of hormones, the immune system and the renal system. Close relationships between structure and function are considered.
194.242 Physiology of Mammalian Organ Systems15 credits
Mammalian, including human, physiology is emphasised. The particular roles the different organ systems have in maintaining life and health, and close relationships between structure and function are examined. Topics include the functions of the heart and blood vessels, breathing, reproduction and the digestive system.
194.243 Physiological Strategies for Survival15 credits
Survival of individual animals, and species of animals, depends on effective physiological mechanisms that allow animals to live in different environments and to respond to changes in their environment, whether benign or extreme. These mechanisms are examined in relation to environmental factors that may include photoperiod, temperature, altitude, and latitude, and in relation to life in the air and underwater.
An overview of the strategies used by animals to persist in diverse habitats, from deserts to the poles. The course focuses on physiological and morphological strategies; in keeping with the integrative nature of the topic these will be related to behavioural and life history adaptations. Examples span diverse taxonomic groups from invertebrates to vertebrates, including humans.
A course examining the physiology of selected organ systems at the cellular and molecular level. There will be an emphasis on the physiological processes involved in differentiation, development and disease. A strong emphasis is placed on the laboratory course where contemporary physiological and laboratory techniques will be used with the aim of preparing students for postgraduate physiology research or as a primer for techniques used in physiology labs.
194.343 Applied Physiology and Animal Welfare15 credits
The use of physiological methods, experimental design, quantification, diagnosis and value judgements to promote good welfare and health in livestock, wildlife and people is explored using specific examples. Whole-body perspectives on health, stress, pain, difficulties at birth, diarrhoea and respiratory disorders are provided. Consciousness, unconsciousness, brain death and the humane destruction of animals are considered.
The functions of the nervous system of mammals, including humans, are explored using examples of normal and, in some cases, abnormal neural activity. Topics covered may include neuronal physiology, neuroscience methods, general sensory systems, developmental neurobiology and the integrating functions of the brain.
The physiological mechanisms that enable animals ranging from fish to mammals to live in changing environments. Topics will include adrenal gland hormones and stress, seasonal breeding and photoperiodism, the movement of animals between different environments, and migration.
How the body attempts to maintain adequate nutrient and metabolic substrate levels in response to fluctuating energy demands in health and disease. Topics covered will include fluid and electrolyte balance, blood flow through vital tissues, signalling within the gut, nutrient absorption and utilisation and reflexes regulating metabolic activities
A study of physiological concepts and mechanisms related to humans with an emphasis on how cells, tissues, organs and the whole body respond to internal and external environmental stressors that challenge the normal homeostatic state.
Advanced study of human physiology from conception to death, covering pregnancy, the foetus, birth, lactation, growth, puberty and ageing. The impact of earlier events on normal and abnormal body function later in the lifecycle will be considered.
194.703 Neurophysiology and Neuroendocrinology30 credits
A two-semester course of self-paced guided instruction into the students' choice of one or more of the following areas: 1. advanced concepts in neurophysiology 2. integrated topics in neurophysiology and neuroendocrinology 3. diseases affecting the brain.
An advanced study of the physiology of digestion in monogastric and ruminant animals. The topics covered may include the mechanisms controlling digestion, functions of gastrointestinal secretions, motility of the stomach and intestines, characteristics of digestion in ruminants and absorption of nutrients.
Principle features of perinatal physiology that affect the survival of newborn mammals are considered, as are some ways physiological investigations are used to devise practical methods for reducing death and debility of newborn mammals.
194.709 Conservation Endocrinology and Reproductive Biology30 credits
The application of principles and methods in endocrinology to conservation problems will be considered, especially in relation to reproduction and to stress. The topics studied by each student can be chosen from a wide range and will include New Zealand examples.
An advanced course on selected topics in cell physiology. The focus is on the processes involved in maintaining cell viability, the mechanisms involved in cell motility and trafficking, intracellular and intercellular signalling, the control of cell death and opportunities for therapeutic manipulations of these processes.